SD GOP calls on US Attorney to investigate Varilek

US Attorney Brendan Johnson

South Dakota Executive Director Tony Post is on a roll! Below is a new press release from the SD GOP:

SDGOP Calls on U.S. Attorney to Investigate Senator Johnson Staffer for Hatch Act Violations

PIERRE- South Dakota Republican Party officials are calling on U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson to launch a full investigation into potential violations of federal law by a senior staffer for Senator Tim Johnson.

“U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson should immediately begin an investigation into a possible violation of federal law that occurred this week when a senior staffer for Senator Johnson attended a campaign event as a potential candidate for federal office while still on the government payroll,” said SDGOP Executive Director Tony Post.

Matt Varilek, a senior staffer for Senator Tim Johnson who earns approximately $90,000 per year, reportedly attended a Democratic Party rally in Mitchell this week where he delivered vitriolic campaign-style personal attacks against Rep. Kristi Noem. Varilek has said he is looking at possibly challenging Noem. He has also recorded a campaign-style video for a ‘Draft Varilek’ website.

“South Dakotans have a right to know whether their hard-earned tax dollars are being used to subsidize a nascent political campaign. Varilek needs to immediately come clean with expense records showing that he has not violated the Hatch Act, which puts restrictions and prohibitions on federal government employees from certain political activities.”

Brendon Johnson received his appointment to the U.S. Attorney position with the help of his father, Senator Tim Johnson.


27 Replies to “SD GOP calls on US Attorney to investigate Varilek”

    1. anon

      It’s possible they will get media out of it and take it from emails and blogs to the printed paper. That would be a score for the SD GOP.

      If memory serves me well I remember Johnson caving and investigating the “oats for votes” scandal with SHS. It will be interesting to see if he will use the same standards to look into a candidate working for his father and backed by his inlaws (who are fundraisers for the draft Varilek movement).

  1. BF

    BC, “…on a role.”? Do you mean as in “posturing,” (i.e. pretending there is an issue when there isn’t one?)

    Or was that just one of those Freudian-Slip kinda typos?

      1. anon

        Imagine if a Thune staffer pulled this kind of crap while under employment? That staffer would be gone already.

        1. anon

          Up until a week ago I had only recieved one email from the SD GOP and that was Rave telling me he was supported for Chair by Daugaard, Noem and Thune.

          Glad to see the beast has awaken.

          1. NE SD Resident

            Steve Barnett didn’t resign his position until he had received the nomination from his party at the state convention and he was a staffer for Sen Thune.

  2. Paul

    The real scandal here is that Senator Tim Johnson engineered the plum appointment (by Obama) of his son to be US Attorney. It’s the worst kind of cynical, digusting, insider-dealing and crap that make people hate the political system.

  3. 73*

    Too me this is Post going Nesselhuf on us. I like to see that he is working on this and blowing it up but I also think we need to be careful not to lose credibility by jumping the shark.

    Woster said it best this morning and I think Post should have played this card over the Hatch Act.

    “Even more compelling, to me, is how a staffer for one of the state?s three congressional members makes critical comments about another congressional member without hurting the performance and unity of the delegation overall.

    And is it proper? Or should that kind of stuff wait until Varilek actually declares and, perhaps, even leaves Johnson?s staff?”

  4. Pappy

    It was a horrible scandal that Timmy pushed his own son to be the US Attorney for South Dakota, is this a banana republic? WTF?! i can’t believe that clown gets away with this s–t

    1. Anonymous

      I don’t think this blog made any accusations but I think your assumptions are by themselves accusations. Perhaps you should appolagize Mr. Heidelbergerwithfries.

      Good to see Post doing something with his time.

      But this kind of press release is exactly the reason I would not want to be ED of either party.

      1. caheidelberger

        Post accused a Congressional staffer of breaking a law that does not apply to Congressional staffers. Any well-paid ED should take a few minutes to check to see if the law he’s planning to holler about actually applies. Post screwed up big-time. Show me a screw-up like this of similar magnitude from Nesselhuf. I double-dare you. (And I don’t apologize, not this time, because I’m right and Post is wrong.)

  5. Clay Bill

    Post should apologize to all South Dakotans for creating this mess before he’s sent packing back to Minnesota. What a joke.

    1. Anonymous

      I like that the post went on the blog because it created a lot of fire amongst the base who otherwise wouldn’t have seen it.

      I also don’t like that Post sent this out because now everyone is learning who Matt Varilek is with earned media. Win for Varilek in this mess.

  6. SD GOP and SDDP Press releases

    SD GOP = 5

    SDDP = 200,973

    So far Nesselfluf has put out a lot more press releases than Post. At least by my count.

    1. caheidelberger

      0/5: press releases from Post with any real value to the party.

      1/1: GOP bills referred to 2012 ballot by SDDP that give Dems strong messaging for campaign.

      Advantage: Nesselhuf.

      1. NE SD Resident

        Nesselhuff is nothing but whining cry baby that is p*ssed that Gant mopped the floor with his ugly head. And it annoys me that the SDDP put him as their ED.
        SDDP Moto: Whine, Bitch, and Moan. But I am not going to do anything about it b/c we have no one worth a damn to put into office.

  7. CaveMan

    Cory it is really a minor problem of 99% of SD not giving a hoot what anyone right now is saying about a percieved election problem over 12 months out. But in all reality a major problem of integrity within our own political circles.

    But then American’s don’t go to car races to see the champagne flying, they go to see the cars flying end over end and blowing up.

    Let the mud fly.

  8. Namby

    We need an investigation of Brendan Johnson’s politically-motivated appointment to be US Attorney and how it was cooked up by Obama and Senator Johnson

    1. pamby

      Cory, that headband is too tight on the runs through spearfish lately your brain is growing to big and being constrained by your active wear. Loosen up my friend.